A Snapshot of Three Bay Area Trauma Centers

Are Bay Area Trauma Centers Screening for PTSD?

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Shutterstock
    File image.

    A growing body of research shows that victims of violent crime are suffering from PTSD similarly to the way soldiers do in combat. Some research shows that when patients don't get their PTSD symptoms treated, they're more likely to carry weapons, have a harder time holding onto their jobs and end up back in the hospital.

    The Invetigative Unit surveyed trauma centers around the Bay Area to see if they were screening their patients for PTSD. Here's how three of them compare:

     

    STANFORD HOSPITAL AND CLINICS
    LEVEL I TRAUMA CENTER
    Location Palo Alto
    PTSD Screening? Yes – Although PTSD happens days, weeks or months after the traumatic incident, a trained trauma center social worker formally assesses patients in the hospital for acute stress response. The social worker also provides patients with print material of contacts and resources.
    Community Partner? No.

     

    JOHN MUIR MEDICAL CENTER
    LEVEL II TRAUMA CENTER
    Location Walnut Creek
    PTSD Screening? Yes. Trauma patients automatically receive a psycho-social assessment from a medical social worker. Part of this assessment is to determine whether patients have any signs or symptoms of acute or post-traumatic stress or are at risk of developing symptoms. If symptoms are present, the hospital provides counseling, education and referrals to community resources, including outpatient counseling.
    Community Partner? Yes. Beyond Violence is an intervention and prevention program for trauma patients who are victims of unintentional injuries. They between the ages of 14 and 25 and are treated at the medical center. Since 2010, Beyond Violence has served more than 130 trauma patients. In 2013, all engaged clients avoided re-injury and were not involved in a criminal incident at the six-month follow-up.

     

    NORTH BAY MEDICAL CENTER
    LEVEL III TRAUMA CENTER
    Location Fairfield
    PTSD Screening? No. The Trauma Program director reports that it is standard for patients to have at least one contact with a social worker and that 80 percent of patients do request post-admission follow-up appointments. The social worker also provides information to patients about where to seek help. The hospital plans to institute a tool to screen for emotional and psychological stability due to the number of penetrating trauma patients the hospital continues to see.
    Community Partner? No.